Monday, March 14, 2011

What is Your Platform?

A little over a year ago I discovered the writing blogosphere. I was amazed at the wealth of information and at the giving nature of all these folks. For months I simply visited blogs, until I decided I was ready to jump in with two feet and start a blog of my own.

Deciding was the easy part. But when I sat down to plan it out, I realized I had no idea what to blog about. I was in awe with these bloggers who made it look so easy. Topic upon topic related to writing; funny vignettes from their lives; serious ponderings about their frustrations. Blogs where you could get your work critiqued. Blogs that offered marketing advice. Blogs that gave information about agents. Blogs that interviewed agents. Blogs that gave grammar instructions. Blogs that focused on Asian settings.

It seemed everyone in the blogosphere knew their place and their platform, and how could I enter that? What could I possibly add? It was definitely intimidating. But I had decided to try, so there we were.

I looked at my background to find my strengths, but I decided that few people had need of French translation services (though if you ever do, feel free to ask away!); and having done the English professor stint, I initially dabbled in the mockery of grammar, but I got tired of it.

I'm sure you're waiting for a point right about now, but the thing is, I've been doing this writing blog for almost a year now, and I still am not sure I've found my platform. I still wonder what I should blog about more often than not (because you can only do so many posts on license plates).

So this is what I wanted to ask: Do you have a platform for your blog? Do you know what you are trying to convey to your readers? How did you get there? And what keeps you coming back to a blog?

Maybe one of these years I'll figure it out!

**As I'm nearing my year mark, another blogger and I have a week of fun and silliness planned from Mar. 28 to April 1. Lots of prizes, easy entries, and a big grand prize you won't want to miss!

23 comments:

Tamika: said...

Congratulations on the one year mark! The fact that you've hung in this long professes your in this thing for the long haul!

There are days were I fumble with my platform too. I'm learning to just be myself and share what things inspire me, challenge me, and encourage me to write.

Happy Anniversary:)

Angela Felsted said...

Congratulations on a year! For me, it's poetry, but that's pretty obvious. :)

Jen Daiker said...

Congratulations on your one year! That's so huge! I celebrated mine back in January and still feel on top of the world!!

My platform is a little mixture of the things I love. Writing and reading obviously are my main points but I do like to add a little fun and a little flare. I don't share many personal things because my blog isn't about me, it's about my life as a writer. I started this before I knew anything about the writing world and I'm glad I did. I was building a platform before I even knew it was a good idea!

Hannah Kincade said...

I have no plan! LOL! I mainly talk about things I love: food, writing, books, movies, TV...whatever. I've been random from the start though I keep my personal details to a minimum. I think I'll stick with it since it's done great for me so far.

Happy anniversary!

Joanne said...

I definitely started my blog with a theme. I borrowed it from my fiction manuscript to keep the two connected in an abstract way. Whole Latte Life is all about living what we love, which my mc struggles with in the ms. It really gives me focus when writing those posts, and it's amazing how many directions those posts can go while still relating. So maybe pick an overall theme from your writing, and tie your posts in to that?

coffeelvnmom said...

My platform is.... this raised area next to my computer where I set my coffee. :|

I'm not sure, at this point, that my platform is very clear. I guess it's about writing, reading, and having camaraderie with anyone who loves to read and write (or both). =) If (I mean WHEN) I get to the next part of the whole writerly journey, the blog may change a bit. Or it may stay the same. I dunno. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet .. I went for interesting topics for conversation .. that could be tentacled out for extra topics etc etc .. ie stimulate my mother and keep her amused .. she's still going!

So it is eclectic and I don't include much personal stuff ..

Cheers Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Happy almost-year!

I try to keep my blog like I write: fun, kinda snarky and a little tongue in cheek.

Carol Riggs said...

I started out with a boring online journal type of blog--where I was in my writing. Then I got so bored with it myself, I changed in June of last year. I do writing tips and online critiques, mostly. I enjoy doing it. Like you, I'm amazed at the sheer # of writer blogs out there. It IS hard to stand out. But maybe you don't have to. Only you can write your blog the way YOU do, just the same as how you write a novel.

Melissa said...

I don't really feel like I have a platform. I try to relate things back to writing and books most of the time. But sometimes I just want to be funny or post about my fears. I don't think I have a real set of things I blog about. I just do whatever comes to mind. i always struggle to come up with posts but I love sharing my thoughts and getting peoples responses...and then I love going to their blogs and reading what they have to say.

I don't like blogs that are ONLY about self-promotion (Buy my book, Buy my book!) and never do anything else. And I don't like being bored. As long as blogs don't do those two things....I'll probably like them.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Honey, you keep people coming back. Your wit, your amusing approach to different topics, the way you say things, the things you say. It's all really good stuff that draws people in!

Chris Phillips said...

I have a platform! It's made of a cardboard table with one of the legs propped up by some MAD magazines.

In other words I make my blog up as I go.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

No platform here. I'm such a hodge-podge blogger, but it works for me right now in my season of life. I know I'm not building my following much by this approach, but I don't think I'd blog at all if it were any more stressful.

I love your blog, btw. Don't feel like you have to give us something as your readers. We come for you! :)

Amy

Bethany Elizabeth said...

My platform is confused, struggling writer. Maybe yours is too. :D :D :D
Haha... :)
Yeah, I'm still figuring it out too. I might stick with the video game/writing approach, it seems to work pretty well.

Colene Murphy said...

Ahhh...my platform. It is a many layered stepped thing. But all writing and me, so hazzah!

Margo Berendsen said...

I've been blogging for about a year too and at first my platform was analyzing books to learn writing techniques - and I still do that - but it's not my focus anymore because people just didn't respond to it very much (unless they'd happened to have read the book I picked). So I'm struggling to find my niche, too. I think it definitely helps!

Lynn said...

My blog is constantly evolving. I'd like the core to be inspiration but not sure if I establish that platform. Congrats on one year!

Melissa Sarno said...

I'm not sure what my platform is. I think I'm in the same boat as you. Since I am not sure I can offer anything different on my blog than other writing blogs do, I just try to tell stories in my own way and be myself, because no one else is me! When I really think about it, I blog because I like to write and I enjoy reading other people's blogs. So I decided not to go crazy trying to stick to create a unique platform. It just wasn't part of my reasons for blogging. Someday that may change but I'm sticking to that now :-)

Medeia Sharif said...

I blog about whatever, personal stuff, books, and writing. Pretty much what I do and talk about in real life.

HowLynnTime said...

I just sort of let it fall where it will. I am very new to the blog thing - I didn't start by saying _ this is my message.

I just do what I feel that day....I wander. But all who wander are not lost - as JRR says.
I don't always have the answers - I want to spark others to think out the path they are on. I will share what works for me - like getting kids to go to bed - or how to not ever have writers block - but most things are about finding the important parts - knowing the hidden things.
I am a little scary because very few things frighten me - thats what I write, so it may seep into my blog a little.
I love to laugh - so my sarcastic side runs off the chart a wee bit - (hey ya gotta be good at somethin) but I laugh at me too.
Good post - got me thinking! New follower from -show me the voice - mine is up early if you want to do a warm up.

Lola Sharp said...

First, happy blogoversary.

Second, your blog is great...it's you.

And, last..my blog? Please. I have no schedule, no plan, I don't pre-write posts (hell, I don't even proof read them). I have no niche/brand/expertise and nothing special to offer. Thus, I have exactly, um, no advice...other than just keep being you. :)

Hugs,
Lola

Missed Periods said...

You've made it a year, and if it's not broken...

Happy almost anniversary!

Myrna Foster said...

I don't really worry about it. I post mostly about stories or authors I love and about my own writing adventures. I don't think you need a platform.